Market gardening is as much about 'marketing' as 'gardening' (or it should be if you want to stay in the market garden business).
Market gardeners need customers; customers come from effective marketing. Here's the Secret Marketing Weapon that built us TWO successful work from home businesses.
** This section is from my book Bootstrap Market Gardening now on sale for just $5, including Garden Planner software**.
But first, what DOESN'T work.
Trust me on this: space advertising - i.e. like in newspapers or magazines - does NOT work for farms or work at home businesses. Classified ads are expensive, they are not targeted - i.e. they go to everybody, whether they would be a good customer or not - and they rarely get a response. So, what does work?
The Market Gardener's Secret Marketing Weapon - Flyers!
We have used mail-out flyers to build two successful businesses in the last 5 years - New Terra Farm, and a cleaning business owned by our daughter. Flyers were the secret to bringing in customers for both businesses. Here's the advantages that flyers have over other kinds of marketing:
Advantage 1: Flyers are targeted.
You can pick the locations you want the flyers delivered to (by the post office), and specifically target the areas that are most promising.
Advantage 2: Flyers provide lots of information.
Our flyers are 1 full page, printed on both sides; that’s two full pages of information we can give to our prospective customers. We want lots of room to explain what we do and get our message across.
Advantage 3: Flyers get results.
We can count on about a 1% response rate from our initial flyer distribution in a given neighbourhood. This means that, if we send out 1500 flyers (comes to about $300, depending on printing costs) we will net about 15 customers. This means (in our case) about $9000 in sales from a $300 promotion - pretty good payback!
How to use flyers
Step 1 - scout the neighbourhoods that look like good prospects;
Step 2 - get the number of households in that area from the local post office; also find out how they need the flyers bundled.
Step 3: write your flyer (sample flyers are included in Bootstrap Market Gardening)
Step 4 - get the flyer copied at your local print shop (tip: we like to use colored paper, it costs a penny more per flyer but makes them 'stand out')
Step 5 - do the mail-out from your local post office, and . . .
get ready to follow up with customers!
Our experience says flyers are a cost-efficient and results-effective way to build any work-at-home or farm-based business.
No other means of communicating with your potential customers is as targeted, or provides such immediate results. Write on!
Bootstrap Market Gardening, my first Bootstrap Book, shows you step-by-step how to start-up, market and manage an organic market garden based on CSA principles.
New edition includes my Garden Planner spreadsheet. Get Bootstrap Market Gardening Now just $10 only from New Terra Farm.
Or get Bootstrap Market Gardening as part of my Complete Start Farming Pack and SAVE EVEN MORE!
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